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Musibau Jelili, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology – Urban Land Use in Sub-Saharan Africa: The Question of Informality

By on September 26, 2016
Lecturer - profile

Musibau JELILI


Main affiliation
Department of Urban and Regional Planning, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso, Nigeria





Dr Musibau Omoakin Jelili holds a B.Tech, M.Tech, and PhD all in Urban and Regional Planning. He is a member of the Nigerian Institute of Town Planners (NITP), a Chartered Town Planner registered with the Town Planners’ Registration Council (TOPREC) of Nigeria, an individual member of the Association of African Planning Schools, and an individual member of the UN-HABITAT University Network Initiative (UNI). He is at present a Reader (Associate Professor) in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso, Nigeria, and a Visiting Reader in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning, University of Ilorin (UNILORIN), Nigeria. He was a Visiting Senior Lecturer to the Department of Town and Regional Planning, University of Juhannesburg, South Africa (2012-2013). He has over forty publications in both national and international outlets, including 24 journal articles, 6 chapters-in-books, one monograph, 5 conference proceedings, and 9 technical reports, His areas of research interest include land use and environmental planning, and urban development studies.

English Proficiency

Previous experience of recording video lectures

Experience of lecturing to large audiences

Experience of lecturing to large audiences

Frequency of lectures
Very often

Recording opportunities
Habitat III attendance and availability
Any appropriate time


Main themes
Urban Management

Urban Land Use and Development Planning in Sub-Sahara Africa: The Question of Informality

The lecture is aimed at unveiling issues surrounding informality, which is the bane of sustainable development in African urban communities, and which requires effective framework for integration into formal urban land use planning and management. .

Issues which the lecture addresses
It addresses informality issues in urbanization process, urban develoment and land use planning in Africa

Short analysis of the above issues
The multi-dimensional issues of informality, including informal economy, informal land use, informal settlements, informal transportation and other related issues make the urbanization process and development in Africa hard to predetermine and plan for..

Propositions for addressing the issue
The following propositions are made:
(1) Urbanization and/or development process in Sub-sahara Africa is mostly informal.
As urban ratio (population of urban dwellers to the total national population) increases at about the same rate with poverty level, informal urban land use/housing/settlement/economy expands, while urban infrastructure capacity declines all following a process(es) not envisaged or anticipated by the formal urban land use or development plan.

(2) Informality in African setting is multidimensional but interrelated.
The various dimensions of informality include: informal land use, informal housing, informal transportation, informal agriculture, informal trading, informal services, all are different components of informal urban economy.

(3) Development plans for African communities are less effective because they are ‘blind’ to the realities of
informality that define the nature and character of an average urban community on the continent.
The realities of urban informality are that: a) informal land market (which constitutes the largest share of urban land market in African communities) obeys less the formal rules, b) informal land use is less guided by the rigid planning and development control standards, and zoning regulation c) informal housing/settlement is a reflection of poverty and vulnerability issues in the urban environment

(4) Formal and informal components of urban economy and/or development are complementary,
predictable and amenable to planning process. Incidences, mechanisms, and contributions of formal and informal components of urban economy, land use, housing, etc, are quantifiable, predictable, and manageable.

Additional Reading Materials



Korayem, K (1996), “Structural adjustment, stabili-zation policies and the poor in Egypt”, Cairo Papers in Social Science Vol 18, No 4.

Korayem, K (2002) “How do the poor cope with the increase in employment inadequacy in Egypt?”, European University Institute Working Papers, San Domenico.

Meagher, K (1995), “Crisis, informalization and the urban informal sector in sub-Saharan Africa”, Development and Change Vol 26, No 2, pages 259–284.

Ministry of Housing, Utilities and Urban Development – General Organization for Physical Planning (GOPP) and UNDP Egypt (2006), Improving Living Conditions within Informal Settlements through Adopting Participatory Upgrading Planning. General Framework for Informal Areas Upgrading Strategy and Elaborating Preventive Measures for Further Informal Growth. Second Phase Report 2005–2006 (in Arabic), Cairo.

Jelili, et al (2010), “Model for Integrating the Informal Land Use into formal Land Use Planning in Africa”, Proceedings of the Conference on Informality by Association of African Planning Schools held in Dar es Salam, Tanzania in October, 2010. (www.africanplanningschools.org.za)